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Walk This Way to Boost Your Diabetic Health.

Walking is Easy, Meaningful Diets are Harder

Follow these three striding styles to improve your wellbeing


WHY? Picking up your speed when walking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and burn more calories. Scientifically, walking has been shown to be almost the perfect exercise because it uses both the skeletal and muscular systems of our bodies. Increasing your pace, increases your heart rate and increases the health benefits.

170 – calories at a leisurely two miles an hour
250 – calories at a moderate three miles an hour
300 – calories at a brisk four miles an hour

* Keep your elbows at 90 degrees, tucked into your waist. Swing your arm back so your hand is level with your waist and pump your fist forward to just below your shoulder.
*Keep one foot in contact with the ground at all times. Strike the ground with your heel and roll through your foot to push off from your toes.
* You are looking for speeds above 4mph. However, to find your optimum pace you should be raising a sweat, feeling your heartbeat increase, but you shouldn’t be so breathless that you are unable to hold a conversation.
*Keep your upper body quite still and pull your tummy up while gently tucking your bottom under.

Recent research has shown that brisk walking for 10 minutes a day can also boost your energy levels by 18%.


WHY? It exercises your upper body while taking pressure off your knew and legs, say doctors. Using poles to help propel you forwards means you get a full body workout. Public Health and the Centres for Ageing Better recently deemed it one of the best activities for strengthening muscles and improving balance which can reduce the risk of falls in later life.

*You‘ll need poles. Make sure they are the right height for you adjustable are best, with a wrist strap so you can easily release your grip to open gates and rummage in your rucksack.
*Technique is important to get the full benefits and for safety, so it’s best to learn how to do it properly. Find courses and taster sessions at your local club or centre.
*The key is to keep the poles behind your body, pointing diagonally backwards, never out in front of your body.
*The basic technique is that as your foot strikes the ground, move your opposite arm to waist height and plant the pole level with the heel of the opposite foot.
*Push the pole back as far as possible, straightening your arm and opening your hand. Then swing the pole forward from the wrist strap.

One survey found that poles can reduce the load on joints by upto 25%.


WHY? All walking styles have been shown to improve your happiness, thanks to the natural feel-good hormones, endorphins and adrenaline that exercise triggers, but research shows that regular walks in green space where you’re ‘mindful’ of the environment around you can be as effective as antidepressants in beating mild depression. Find the nearest, greenest route you can. Walking is a way of getting out and connecting with nature, say professional researchers at the Centre for Mindfulness Research at Bangor University. Don’t despair if you’re miles from the countryside. Towns and cities have parks and open spaces which are great places to walk.

*Really concentrate on your senses. Notice the colours of the trees, listen to the birdsong, feel the wind on your face, the smell of the grass.
*Don’t worry if you find your mind wandering during a walk. It’s difficult when you’re learning mindfulness to keep your mind clear and sew alert. If thoughts start creeping in, turn your attention back to the present, using your senses to experience what’s around you.
*If it starts raining don’t run for cover, accept it’s raining and experience it for what it is. Straighten up, allow the raindrops to fall, feel the sensation of the coolness of the water on our skin and hear the sound. You may find rather than resisting the situation, you accept, embrace and enjoy it.

Meditating for just 10 minutes before or after a walk can help reduce anxiety.


SHOES: A flexible trail shoe. Made of Gore-Tex and waterproof, advise walking gurus. Look for a big round toe box so your toes have room to move to help you avoid black toenails. You may even want to go up one size. Avoid running shoes, they don’t have the support you need and often aren’t waterproof.

CLOTHING: Anything loose-fitting and comfortable lightweight walking trousers are great, especially ones with a zip which can convert to shorts and dry quickly if you get rained on. T-shirt and fleece, plus a lightweight waterproof jacket with hood and baseball cap for both wet and sunny weather. Try the lightweight and breathable Decathlon Trail Running T-shirt.

BACKPACK/WAIST POUCH: For carrying basics such as water, mobile sunscreen, snack, hat, first-aid kit and money. Rucksacks should be narrow to avoid hampering swinging arms and should include a waist strap to stop bouncing. Don’t forget a map or GPS so you know where you’re going!

E298 – Walk This Way and Boost Your Health –
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